When I returned from Japan, I always remembered that contributing digital typesetting tools to society is my overall goal. Becoming self-employed, I wondered which approach is best to achieve this. The following is a monologue around the question:
“Why didn’t you participate in the startup community?”
I need to point out that the question is vague. What is the definition of a startup? Here I mean “why did I not invest my entire attention, learning process and focus on one single product?”.
In general, I dislike the conservative banking community as well as the startup community. There are a lot of trashy products out there and, for example, many of those startup applications and implementations have fundamental security and privacy issues. So I can see a lot of products being successful and at the same time, bringing bad spirit to the people. These issues are just very important to me and cannot be neglected. This is why I often prefer 'education' over 'just try and fail'. To sum it up, there are mindset difference.
However, I like the spirit of sharing ideas and expertise. I like the idea, that as a young person you spend years and years in your chamber developing the product you are looking for. Once you are satisfied, you go outside and add marketing, publicity and other aspects. Eventually you will be successful and hopefully get back all sacrifices, you made. Especially financially. But I doubt that any of this can work out if you only work on your project. There must always be a second source of income and hopefully you also go outside, socialize and do some sports.
In the end, I didn’t end up in the startup community, because of one simple assumption. Startups are fond of the concept of new ideas. Every startup has its unique new idea. But, my ideas are not new. If I look at products, which I think are good, they are 90% reinvention and 10% original work. For my products, I think the percentage is even worse. There is little original work and 'new ideas'. It tries to stick to good, existing ideas, standards and implementations. So to the fundamental question: 'What is your new idea?', my answer is 'None', which is incredibly lame.